Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

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Old August 17th 04, 06:28 PM
Ron Hardin
 
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Default Safe to use WD40 as switch or potentiometer cleaner?

Franky wrote:

Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


I have great results with Caig DeoxIT, which prevents oxidation as well. WD40 sounds
very unlikely.

http://www.partsexpress.com/webpage....7&WebPage_ID=3

I use the brush-on mostly, on plugs and jacks; the spray for some pots.
Actually works.
--
Ron Hardin


On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.

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Old August 17th 04, 06:29 PM
Agonia
 
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Default

No, it is flammable, doesn't really clean that good, and leaves a residue
that attracts dirt.
Use a real electronic cleaner (usually a heavy freon type) cost is about the
same.


"Franky" wrote in message
...
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?



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Old August 17th 04, 06:49 PM
[email protected]
 
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In sci.physics Franky wrote:
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?


I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?


Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.


Any views on this?


Some rambling thoughts:

The carrier and other volatiles may or may not attack plasic parts
depending on the type of plastic.

I've seen contact cleaners that leave a residue detune RF circuits at
VHF and UHF frequencies.

I've seen contact cleaners that leave a residue cause problems with
high voltage (several hundred volts) circuits as well as high impedance
circuits. I'm guessing that the residue caused dust, etc. to stick
which was just conductive enough to cause a problem.

In general, if all you have is WD40 and you are judicious in applying
it, it should be OK.

--
Jim Pennino

Remove -spam-sux to reply.
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Old August 17th 04, 06:50 PM
John Miller
 
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Default

Franky wrote:
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


The following is offered for information/trivia value only. If ex-Tek
repair guy Jim Yanik happens to read this, he will be able to confirm,
clarify or refute.

If memory serves, WD-40 has been specified in some Tek service manuals for
certain contact cleaning applications (definitely not all, and please do
not use it on the basis of this anecdotal information.)

--
John Miller
Email address: domain, n4vu.com; username, jsm

Life is one long struggle in the dark.
-- Titus Lucretius Carus

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Old August 17th 04, 06:58 PM
kony
 
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On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 17:10:38 +0100, Franky
wrote:

Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?


Not really, there is nothing particularly good/appropriate about
using it. It will leave oily film behind that dissolves the
grease in moving parts (which should stay in those parts) and
will attract dust.



I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?


Generally a pot will clean itself good enough if you just turn it
back and forth a few times, unless the spring-metal contacts's
tension has been reduced though wear. If that's the case it's
"sometimes" possible to gently pry open the pot and (re)bend
contacts back out, but it's really a last-ditch effort if you
can't find another pot or need immediate fix.



Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


Why would anyone want to use a degreaser that leaves behind a
residue of it's own? It may work a bit but mostly if that pot
had decades-old hardened grease, not for parts that were
regularly used. WD40 may help with mechanical function of the
pot but electrical contact should be worse over time.


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Old August 17th 04, 07:14 PM
Michael Black
 
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Default


John Miller ) writes:
Franky wrote:
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


The following is offered for information/trivia value only. If ex-Tek
repair guy Jim Yanik happens to read this, he will be able to confirm,
clarify or refute.

If memory serves, WD-40 has been specified in some Tek service manuals for
certain contact cleaning applications (definitely not all, and please do
not use it on the basis of this anecdotal information.)

I saw part of one of their bulletins years ago, reprinted elsewhere, and
they said something about using WD-40 to clean the blue case on the scopes.

Michael

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Old August 17th 04, 08:14 PM
Bob Stephens
 
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On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 17:10:38 +0100, Franky wrote:

Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


I used to work with a former safe and vault mechanic/locksmith who said
that WD40 was the worst thing you could do to a piece of machinery, because
the residue attracts grit and ends up being more abrasive than if you had
left it alone in the first place.


Bob
--
"Just machines that make big decisions
programmed by fellas with compassion and vision."
-D. Fagen
(remove yomama)
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Old August 17th 04, 08:53 PM
Graham W
 
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Default

Franky wrote:
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


WD40 is a Water Dispersant and should never be used as a switch
cleaner since it isn't, by design, either a cleaner or lubricant.


--
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Change 'news' to 'sewn' in my Reply address to avoid my spam filter.
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Old August 17th 04, 10:14 PM
Sam Wormley
 
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Default

Franky wrote:

Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?


The product designs for cleaning pots, connectors and switches is
DeoxIT D5 (Caig Laboratories, Inc.)
http://www.caig.com
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Old August 17th 04, 11:48 PM
Mark (UK)
 
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Default

Hi!

??

I think it is a lubricant, but maybe not an electrical one.....

It certainly lubricates parts on my car :-)

Yours, Mark.

Graham W wrote:

Franky wrote:

Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?



WD40 is a Water Dispersant and should never be used as a switch
cleaner since it isn't, by design, either a cleaner or lubricant.





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